Free-Floating Shell Replacements (Bronze, Brass, etc.)

Scottie15

Senior Member
Hello All,

I read somewhere that there are certain manufacturers and drum builders who provide shell replacements for Pearl's free floating snares, namely Oriollo.

Does anyone have any experience with that? I was looking to invest in a new cast bronze snare, but figured I can just use the 6.5 Pearl free floating chassis I already have, and replace the maple shell with a replacement shell.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
Look online at the auction sites. Cool thing about the free floaters is you can put any shell in them. Just get the correct size. Doesn't matter if they're drilled for lugs or not. I've put slingerl;and shells, Premier shells, Ludwig shells and others in the free floating chassis and it works fine. If you don't like the lug holes, close them with some nice brass or stainless steal screws and bolts. That adds a bit of custom to it.
 

Scottie15

Senior Member
Look online at the auction sites. Cool thing about the free floaters is you can put any shell in them. Just get the correct size. Doesn't matter if they're drilled for lugs or not. I've put slingerl;and shells, Premier shells, Ludwig shells and others in the free floating chassis and it works fine. If you don't like the lug holes, close them with some nice brass or stainless steal screws and bolts. That adds a bit of custom to it.

I appreciate the response. Yea, I'm trying to find something, leaning towards bronze or a darker toned metal. I think the bottom of the shell needs to sit flush on the chassis. Nonetheless, I've read that Oriollo make customer free floating shells for these snares. Could've sworn there was an Oriollo employee who is a member here who could confirm.

@oriollo can you confirm?
 
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Scottie15

Senior Member
No, it does not need to be flat. Only reason they make them flat is because they don't need bearing edge on the bottom. I have however used many shells from "regulare" drums with edges and they work just fine.
Thatis good to know, thank you!

You can email him directly from the Oriollo website. He's very good at responding to product inquiries.
Yea saw that after I posted this. Ended up sending him an email. Thank you for the suggestion
 

oriollo

Senior Member
Our bell bronze shells are sand cast. We used to do centrifugal casting early on, many years ago, but switched to sand casting quickly. Purely because of sonic difference.
 

Scottie15

Senior Member
Our bell bronze shells are sand cast. We used to do centrifugal casting early on, many years ago, but switched to sand casting quickly. Purely because of sonic difference.

Thank you! I got a response for Vukan and am currently working with him to get some questions answered as it looks like they have plenty of experience shells for these free floating chassis (i.e. what thickness he recommends, bearing edges, etc.)

If anyone has any recommendations, let me know as well. This will be my first bell bronze snare, and my first time trying to integrate a different shell other than Pearl into this chassis.
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
Nothing like having replacement shells from a company that doesn't sell the shells separate.
I found it cheaper to just buy a used FF to get the shells I wanted.
Kind of an oxymoron.
 

Scottie15

Senior Member
Nothing like having replacement shells from a company that doesn't sell the shells separate.
I found it cheaper to just buy a used FF to get the shells I wanted.
Kind of an oxymoron.
I know. It’s idiotic and makes no sense. Hell, they don’t even sell the lugs or chassis separately. You can find the hardware through other retailers, but still.
 

Scottie15

Senior Member
@oriollo Any recommendation on thickness, bearing edges and whether to include re-rings?

Not sure whether re-rings truly have an effect on a cast bronze shells.

As far as thickness, he early Tama Bell Brass snares were 3 mm in thickness, but I've seen some that are significantly thicker. Aside from volume, what other characteristics are affected by the thickness of a cast bronze shell?

I'm also aware that the early Tama Bell Brass snares also used a sharp 45 degree bearing edge. Oriollo recommended a 45 round over edge. Any addition information on bearing edges when it comes to cast bronze snares would also be helpful.

Thank you.
 

Captain Bash

Silver Member
Back in the late 80s when I used a pearl free floater I had a birch shell made by Richmo drums (UK), I had the bottom bearing edge cut fully rounded and broad so that it seated into the free floating frame. I drilled one air vent hole and then just hand applied some furniture polish. Nice drum but In the end I grew tired of the extended snare mechanism and sold it on.

In summary provided you get the dimensions correct you won’t have an issue, although I wouldnt have the bottom bearing edge cut too sharp. You don’t need a bottom bearing edge.
 

Scottie15

Senior Member
Back in the late 80s when I used a pearl free floater I had a birch shell made by Richmo drums (UK), I had the bottom bearing edge cut fully rounded and broad so that it seated into the free floating frame. I drilled one air vent hole and then just hand applied some furniture polish. Nice drum but In the end I grew tired of the extended snare mechanism and sold it on.

In summary provided you get the dimensions correct you won’t have an issue, although I wouldnt have the bottom bearing edge cut too sharp. You don’t need a bottom bearing edge.
Yea in fully aware that the bottom edge has no influence on the sound of the drum. But the top bearing edge does, and I've seen some builders recommend sharp bearing edges and others recommend rounded 45 degree edges.

Just curious how they affect a bell bronze snare.
 

roncadillac

Member
I couldn't see it being too difficult to make an epoxy resin shell blank. Make a mold, mix and pour the solution, send it off to get edges cut (and lug holes if it weren't a ff shell), and you're good to go.
 

markdrum

Silver Member
Here's a possibly crazy idea. The shell on a FF sits on a felt washer/bed in the bottom of the frame if I remember correctly. If the bottom of the shell can still have a bearing edge why not make a shell with two different bearing edge profiles? You could have the sharp 45 degree on one side and a rounded over profile on the other end of the shell. If you didn't have snare beds cut in either end you could switch which end would be on the batter side depending on what sound you were going for. I'm going to have to try that!.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Here's a possibly crazy idea. The shell on a FF sits on a felt washer/bed in the bottom of the frame if I remember correctly. If the bottom of the shell can still have a bearing edge why not make a shell with two different bearing edge profiles? You could have the sharp 45 degree on one side and a rounded over profile on the other end of the shell. If you didn't have snare beds cut in either end you could switch which end would be on the batter side depending on what sound you were going for. I'm going to have to try that!.
That’s an interesting idea. I’d go with sharp middle 45 versus full round over. But I’d like to hear what other people suggest.
 
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